Earning A Living In Stock Photography

Posted on 1/13/2011 by Jim Pickerell | Printable Version | Comments (2)

For many photographers seeking to earn some, or all, of their living producing stock images, one of the most important decisions in 2011 will be whether to retire from the stock photo business or get into microstock. Many photographers who are licensing their images at rights-managed or traditional royalty free prices have seen their revenue decline significantly in the last couple of years. They are also skeptical that it is possible to earn any significant money licensing images at microstock prices. As a result quite a few are choosing to get out of the stock photography business.


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Copyright © 2011 Jim Pickerell. The above article may not be copied, reproduced, excerpted or distributed in any manner without written permission from the author. All requests should be submitted to Selling Stock at 10319 Westlake Drive, Suite 162, Bethesda, MD 20817, phone 301-251-0720, e-mail: wvz@fpcubgbf.pbz

Jim Pickerell is founder of www.selling-stock.com, an online newsletter that publishes daily. He is also available for personal telephone consultations on pricing and other matters related to stock photography. He occasionally acts as an expert witness on matters related to stock photography. For his current curriculum vitae go to: http://www.jimpickerell.com/Curriculum-Vitae.aspx.  

Comments

  • Jonathan Ross Posted Jan 13, 2011
    Great post. Daniel was mentored, this is an area that is almost non existent in Micro. The idea of mentoring has often created better photographers than their mentors over the history of their business. This to might happen to Daniel.
    I read his posts and he seems to be one of those that has the business moxie and the personality to rise to the top. There is still a lot of money to be made in stock if you can learn to adapt to the changes when they take place. Well Done Daniel, here is to a great 2011 for you.
    Stock is not made for everyone these days so I believe we are bound to see a changing of the guards. Because of this I believe it is never to late to join up if you can produce.

  • Shannon Fagan Posted Jan 15, 2011
    I agree, great post. There are many books and blog forums devoted to the subject areas of 'how to break into stock' . . . but fewer and fewer mentors will become available as the market continues to shift and evolve. My start into the business was in large part due to a two-year mentorship by Getty Art Director Rolf Sjogren from 2001-2003. Without a mentor's constant and reliable support, my comprehension of what to shoot, and how to shoot, would certainly not have evolved as quickly. Mentors provide psychological support and the instructional knowledge goes far beyond making selects and directing shoots. Crowdsourcing will continue to be responsible for an overwhelming majority of the industry, but mentoring will produce the experts.

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